How to Make the Most of Direct Mail in the Digital Age

With the rise of the digital age, many people thought the sun was setting on print and direct mail, completely forgetting that both have a proven track record of generating results. Instead, people began putting all of their marketing eggs in a digital basket, rather than fully integrating their marketing strategy and making use of all possible platforms. Even today, email and social media have yet to prove themselves as the be-all and end-all of marketing – it is so easy to miss a social media post or hit the delete button on an email.

Direct mail is still viable today because you can’t miss it or delete it. Plus, it’s changed. I’ve seen a huge decrease in gimmick and offer-focused direct mail and a shift in favor of letters. People are more likely to open letters – especially if the address is hand-written – to see what information is contained inside.

And yes, there’s still a lot of direct mail, but every day, I open my mailbox to retrieve my stack of mail. I go through the pile to see what I received, and I open every single envelope to see what’s inside. I do not do that with email, nor do I know anyone who does.

Emails and social media posts are great for staying in contact with your customers but if you want to get in front of C-levels – CEOs, CMOs, CTOs, CFOs, etc. – letters are most effective. (Emails and postcards do not reach them – they are intercepted and trashed by assistants.) I know letters work, because they’ve worked for Marstudio.

Last year, we made a list of the C-levels we wanted to reach and wrote a letter that highlighted how our service offerings could benefit them. A few weeks later, we were contacted by a CMO that required our design and strategic services. His team had been working on a project in-house, but they couldn’t get it right. Now we are one of his go-to vendors.

This approach can definitely work for you even if you have more layers to go through in order to reach the end user. Let’s say you are a manufacturer and you want your product to be considered by a potential retailer, distributor, or third party vendor. Write a letter that spells out the benefits of your product to the end user and to them (the retailer, distributor, or vendor). How will sales of your product increase their bottom line, complement their current product offerings, or augment their capabilities?

As you write your letter, keep these two tips in mind:

Keep your letter to one page

Short, to-the-point letters are the most effective. C-levels have even less time than you do, so keep whittling down your message till you are only saying what is absolutely necessary.

Don’t include an offer

An offer like “25% off your first purchase!” does not hook a CEO. Leave the offer out, and keep the focus on how your product or service will benefit his or her company.

Remember, it is best to coordinate marketing efforts across multiple communication channels encompassing both traditional and digital media. No matter what medium is used, your marketing must communicate value to your audience and express the benefits offered by your organization.

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